TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, July 29, the 211th day of 2020. There are 155 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 29, 1967, an accidental rocket launch on the deck of the supercarrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin resulted in a fire and explosions that killed 134 servicemen. (Among the survivors was future Arizona senator John McCain, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander who narrowly escaped with his life.)

On this date:

In 1856, German composer Robert Schumann died in Endenich at age 46.

In 1914, transcontinental telephone service in the U.S. became operational with the first test conversation between New York and San Francisco.

In 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency was established. Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.

In 1968, Pope Paul the Sixth reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s stance against artificial methods of birth control.

In 1980, a state funeral was held in Cairo, Egypt, for the deposed Shah of Iran, who had died two days earlier at age 60.

In 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a glittering ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. (The couple divorced in 1996.)

In 1986, a federal jury in New York found that the National Football League had committed an antitrust violation against the rival United States Football League. But in a hollow victory for the USFL, the jury ordered the NFL to pay token damages of only three dollars.

In 1994, abortion opponent Paul Hill shot and killed Dr. John Bayard Britton and Britton’s bodyguard, James H. Barrett, outside the Ladies Center clinic in Pensacola, Florida. (Hill was executed in Sept. 2003.)

In 1997, members of Congress from both parties embraced compromise legislation designed to balance the budget while cutting taxes.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker is 88. Actor Robert Fuller is 87. Former Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole is 84. Actor David Warner is 79. Actress Roz Kelly is 78. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 74. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 71. Actor Mike Starr is 70. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 67. Style guru Tim Gunn is 67. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 67. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 67. Actor Kevin Chapman is 58. Actress Alexandra Paul is 57. Actor/comedian Dean Haglund is 55. Country singer Martina McBride is 54. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 53. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 52.